Personal

Things to Come

Nothing dull ever happens at [redacted] even though most days pass at a slug’s pace. Friday, however. Man, fucking Friday. We often joke that life at [redacted] could fuel a television series for years—I imagine a cross between Seinfeld and The Office (UK or USA). And if our work life were a TV show, it goes without saying that Friday was the cliffhanger season finale. Maybe, one day, in the distant future.

Back in February, I started thinking about writing again. Something other than this blog and press releases for work. I’ve written a poem here and there. Nothing major. Just lines on the page that I hope will grow into something more. Of course, this gets me thinking about returning to college for an MFA in creative writing. It’s a thought that’s popped up several times in the past, but my bank account just doesn’t see it in the cards. Besides, there’s my relationship with Shaun that can be affected. My time is already divided between work and him with a splash of social life here and there. Throwing school into the mix will just place more responsibilities in the way. And right now, I’m trying to figure some shit out.

Then there’s the whole rust factor. This December marks the ten year anniversary of my college graduation. And all I have to show for it is a couple of press releases published in a weekly that doesn’t even hold my byline, one short story published in a college literary magazine, an essay published in a newsletter, this blog that only a few strangers read, and a job at [redacted] that becomes uncertain as the days go by. I’m not complaining. Not really. But something needs to give, right?

And, again, the realization sets in—all I do is complain about it. Complain about this stagnation. No one told me to stop writing. I chose to. No one told me to stop going to poetry readings. I sheltered myself. No one told me not to spend time on reading old works for revision purposes. I hid them away. I created the creative block—this Trumpian wall—in my mind to hinder myself. I don’t need a muse—shit, I wrote volumes of work before Jeanna. Before I even got laid in high school. And, yes, inspiration is nice; it’s just no one said it had to be romantic. Shaun inspires me every day to do things. I’ve painted more since he’s been around than I have in the years prior. I’m not good at it, but that doesn’t matter. I still do it.

Writing has always been my thing. As has storytelling. In elementary, I penned my The Munsters/The Addams Family-esque short story about a haunted house in which a family of weirdos lived. In high school, countless of compositions books went filled (and unfilled) with bad poetry. (I still have several of these, but I’m too afraid to even open them.)

It seems the trouble, lately, is getting started. That’s where the outline comes into play. In the past, I stood firmly against the outline. Writing should be a wild ride, a road trip without a planned destination. For instance, at the beginning of this post? No idea that I’d end up here. Just look at the intro paragraph. And I’ll by no means change it because that would mean changing this paragraph and I’m already done with this paragraph.

Will the outline help me? Who knows. But I’m willing to try anything. Either way, even with a road map, writing will still remain a wild, wild ride. It’s just that now I have an inkling of where I want to get to.

Doldrums

Where Have I Been

I am a stranger to you as you are to yourself

I’ve not abandoned the blog. Not yet, anyway. It should be noted that I have also garnered the moniker the Gypsy Blogger for reasons I’ll never understand.

Who Reads These Posts, Anyway?

Aside from the handful of loyal followers, I don’t think this blog gets a lick of attention. Who needs it? I don’t. I’m over here attempting to make stuff happen, looking for work, trying to weasel my way back into school – I studying for the GRE people! – and, all in all, trying to become a model citizen not go insane.

That Section Made No Sense

I’m going through the change, people. My mind is scattered. I haven’t a single ounce in me to organize my thoughts. Which is part of the reason of the 5 or 6 posts I started, only none of them will get published. Anytime soon, anyway. Each of them directed at certain things that have come up – from double standards to how I’m not ashamed anymore about my snobby behavior, my holier-than-thou attitude and I will not fucking be ashamed for my education!

That aside, what am I studying you ask? Well, the plan was always to get my MFA in creative writing. And I’ve been painstakingly writing that damn letter of intent plus have a goddamn story ready to submit and blah blah blah. I was on my last nerve. It was to the point that I didn’t want to back to school. Truth is, writing and I seem to be on a break. Separated for an indefinite amount of time – hence my not keeping up with this blog.

So What Then?

It came to me like an epiphany. I was at a job fair and I had an inquiry about two positions at the library. Sadly, they were open only to people with their MLS – state requirement.

At that moment, it was as if some inner part of me – long dormant – yawned awake. The heat of clarity swept over me. And for the first time since I decided to become an English major – I know what you’re thinking, “This guy’s an English major?” – I felt clear-headed. All the tension that came with thinking about applying for the MFA program swept away – crumbs on the dirty table. Because I’ve done my creativity. I’ve proved what I was capable of. Maybe it’s time I put aside that dream and work on this new one. Because while writing and I are temporarily on a break, we’re not divorced. And I’m sure we still love each other. It’s just time to see other people/subjects.

Conclusion

Sorry if this made little sense. The state that my mind is in…well, I cannot for the life of me explain. So many new things tossed in there. It’s like a human emotional smoothie.

Conclusion Part II

There’s a book giveaway happening over at the book blog. People should probably check it out.

Doldrums

Test Positive

When everybody keeps retreating but you can't seem to get enough...

I read about them in books, those aptitude/career tests high schools supposedly give to their students to place them on the right track. Maybe that’s why I remained uncertain all my life. Those guidance counselors, who only had me and several other hundred students with last names A-G in mind, are to blame. Those bastards.

Find A Girl, Settle Down

As I listen to Cat Steven’s “Father and Son,” a part of me yearns for a different childhood. Perhaps if I knew my father better, I might have been a different man. Then again, if my father was still my father – the drunken man staggering in, shouting and angry – I might have been worse off.

Life has been one abandonment after another when it came to male role models. My maternal grandfather – the one I’m named after – died when I was in the third grade, while my paternal grandfather passed three years later. Uncles came and went. Male teachers who were inspiring enough only lasted a year in my life and were not common.

In college, I haunted the hallways outside the offices of professors I looked up to. When they were in, I sat there talking about class assignments and later political topics, etc. Even when I wasn’t enrolled in his class, I’d sit in a cushy or uncomfortable chair just to learn from an authentic man – not like the ones you see on TV who need to strut their testosterone.

But a few men gracing my life was not enough to create a philosophy of manhood. It’s just something that’s supposed to come naturally to you, I suppose.

Everything She Wants, I See She Gets

Instead of men, women were the ones that taught me what being a man meant. Anyone who thinks this isn’t possible needs to shut the fuck up and stop reading my damn blog get better educated. Despite the obvious exceptions, women are just as capable as a guy. And that’s not some neo-feminist-guy babble. 

That Was Gonna Go On A Tangent (formerly, I Need A Job)

The point, let’s stick to it, shall we?

After all these years of being educated, I’m not any smarter than originally thought. I’m good with adapting to situations. My mother’s always thought of me as a survivor – “Whenever Willie gets into a mess, I know he’ll figure how to make it right.”

My mother’s faith in me might have been the foundation of my arrogance. My mother’s a survivor, she’d had to be because she had three sons – what gets more chaotic than that?

But the tides are changing, and I’m drifting caught in the undertow. There’s what I’m good at and what I love doing and the two cannot exist while the other is around. There’s what’ll give me money and what makes me happy; I cannot have both. Not to mention, there’s the plan of returning to school in hopes to get my MFA in Creative Writing.

The cords are pulling me two ways and I feel like I’m drowning. And I’m reaching up for the tiny hand that might pull me out of myself – I’ve lived within myself for far too long – and bring me ashore.

And Sometimes When You’re On, You’re Really Fucking On, And Your Friends They Sing Along And They Love You. But the Lows Are So Extreme, And The Good Seems Fucking Cheap. And It Teases You For Weeks In Its Absence, But You’ll Fight And You’ll Make It Through, You’ll Fake It If You Have To And You’ll Show Up For Work With A Smile. You’ll Be Better And You’ll Be Smarter, And More Grown Up, And A Better Daughter Or Son, And A Real Good Friend. And You’ll Be Awake, You’ll Be Alert. You’ll Be Positive, Though It Hurts. And You’ll Laugh And Embrace All Your Friends. And You’ll Be A Real Good Listener. You’ll Be Honest. You’ll Be Brave. And You’ll Be Handsome And You’ll Be Beautiful You’ll Be Happy.

I know I should feel nervous. Anxious. I feel like I should worry and pace around. Like I should feel like taking walk, getting back with nature. Instead, I feel stoic.

That might actually be some improvement.